Hands to heart women’s cooperative

Hands to Heart Mission

The philosophy of Hands to Heart is grounded in collaborative decision-making shared between the artisans and the organization. This intentional approach to business honors and encourages the artisans’ journey toward empowerment as entrepreneurs. Hand-loom weaving, acknowledged as an art of intricacy, time, and labor, is reciprocated with direct trade prices offered to the artisans.

About Hands to Heart

The Hands to Heart Women’s Cooperative (HHWC) is a project that was launched as a collaborative effort by Lanna Foundation and Integrated Tribal Development Foundation (ITDF) to support Hill Tribe Women in Northern Thailand. This project exists to:

  • Inspire each other as role models to their children
  • Preserve individual, authentic, artisan weaving
  • Aspire to become creative entrepreneurs
  • Play an active role in the economics of their families


All donations and proceeds that are received on their behalf are funneled into a micro-loan through the Lanna Foundation and ITDF. These loans open avenues for cooperative members to:

  • Receive training and development as the need is discovered
  • Have assistance in emergency funding for families
  • Financially start a micro-enterprise business
  • Continue the legacy of their traditional weaving
  • Provide travel funds for inspiration and shared learning
  • Improve livelihood of their families through sustainable income

These micro-loans also provide the ability for these artisans to receive tangible needs – such as solar lanterns and yarn spinners. These tools can relieve a portion of their time and efforts so they can continue to focus on building their business and merchandise. Through these loans they are also able to give their attention towards developing their skills and taking ownership of their craft. 

Since the beginning of this project, the number of cooperative members has grown from 3 villages to now 6 villages of women participating in the growth of their businesses! The community of artisans is increasing which brings a greater sense of community amongst these women. The more this project expands, the more support they are in need of.

Developing Communities

Weaving goes beyond artistic expression; it brings community between villages, develops relationships, encouragement, and collaborative accomplishments. Through this cooperative, the community is able to extend farther than the individual and bridge villages, provinces, and nations.

By supporting the Hands to Heart Women’s Cooperative, you are supporting more than individual efforts. You will be supporting the development of entire communities in Thailand. To bring empowerment, and sharing in their stories from the beginning of their endeavors to the end. We see the growth of their businesses and their communities stretch beyond their village to each corner of the world where their product goes – one hand made good at a time.